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Out of the Mouth of Babes: The Unseen Abortion Fallout

Out of the Mouth of Babes: The Unseen Abortion Fallout

That day Julie decided they would eat lunch on the deck. She carried out a tray with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, baby carrots, grapes, a cup of juice for Libby and a bottled water for herself, and put them on the picnic table. “There,” she said. “We won’t even need forks or spoons, and we can use paper towels for plates.”

After they prayed, five-year-old Libby took a bite from her sandwich. “Mom…”

“Wait until you’ve finished chewing, sweetie.”

Libby chewed—she remembered to keep her mouth closed—swallowed, and asked, “Mom, what’s an abortion?”

Julie was raising her water to her lips, but paused and looked at her daughter. “Where’d you hear that word?”

“From Jinny. She told me her mom’s going tomorrow to a big parade for abortion.”

Julie sipped the water, giving herself time to consider an answer. “An abortion,” she said, “is when a doctor takes a baby—which some call a fetus—out of a mother before it’s born.”

“Couldn’t they take our baby out?” Libby said. “Then he’d be here a whole lot sooner.”

“Well, they could. But if they did, the baby wouldn’t live.”

“Oh,” said Libby. She got quiet, sitting still and staring into space as she did when she was confused. “You mean the baby dies?”

“Yes.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

Libby was quiet again for a moment, then asked, “Why would moms want to do an abortion?”

“Sometimes they get scared or all mixed up. Sometimes they’re alone with no one to help them.” Julie looked across the yard toward the small garden she and Mike and Libby had put in a month ago. The tomato plants were growing and looking healthy. “Sometimes they just don’t want a baby.”

“Hmmm.” Libby nodded as if she understood. “But wouldn’t someone else want the baby, like Uncle Frank and Aunt Maggie?”

Maggie, Julie’s older sister, and her husband Frank were looking into adoption.

“Maybe.” It was time to change the topic. “Do you want to help me make quiche for supper?”

“Yeah.”

“Say yes, not yeah.” She leaned forward and wiped the purple juice moustache from Libby’s upper lip.

“Yes,” Libby said. “But isn’t the mom sad when she doesn’t have her baby?”

“Sometimes.”

“Is abortion good?”

“I don’t think so. No, no, it’s not.” Julie considered mentioning God and the gift of life, but right now she just wanted the conversation to end. “Let’s practice your reading after lunch.”

“Can I do Reading Eggs?”

Reading Eggs was an online program Libby loved. “We’ll do both. You can do Reading Eggs, and then we’ll break out your phonics book.”

“Will you help me?”

“Of course I will.”

Libby smiled. “I love you, Mom.”

“That’s so nice to hear. I love you too.”

Libby bit one of the carrots in half, chewed it up, and then asked, “Mom, did you ever do an abortion?”

Julie again paused, taking her time chewing the grape she’d just slipped into her mouth. Her throat had thickened, and she had trouble swallowing. “No,” she said, willing herself to make it sound true in her voice. “No, I never did.”

“Well, that’s good. Is it okay if I get some more juice?”

“Here, sweetie, I’ll get it for you.” She took her daughter’s cup, opened the sliding glass door, and went to the kitchen. As she poured the juice, her eyes swam with tears. Someday, she thought. Someday. Someday when she’s older….

—–

This sketch, however clumsily rendered, is an expanded and fictionalized version of a conversation I once heard between a mother and her pre-school daughter. The mother, whom I know well, never had an abortion.

In anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling on the Dobbs v. Jackson case, radicals have recently burned or vandalized more than 40 pregnancy help centers and churches in the United States. Now that the court has ruled that there is no Constitutional right to abortion, thus overturning Roe v. Wade and returning abortion legislation to the states, this violence will only likely increase. Ironically, these centers exist to offer counsel, encouragement, and aid to pregnant women. In other words, the so-called feminists attacking these clinics are denying other women much-needed support and help.

Missing in action in this political circus of rage and rhetoric are the real-life emotions, pain, and turmoil experienced by thousands of women faced with choosing life or death for their unborn child. Moreover, we forget that many women, like Libby’s mother, carry the sadness of what they did for the rest of their lives.

And sometimes moms and dads find themselves in Julie’s shoes, trying to explain abortion to a child. No matter how gentle their approach, quite often the little girl or boy is appalled and horrified by what they are told. The most innocent among us can’t comprehend why anyone would get rid of a baby.

And some of them may be left wondering: What if Mom had aborted me?

Image Credit: Flickr-Army Medicine, CC BY 2.0

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6 Comments

  • Avatar
    Timothy A Garriques
    June 24, 2022, 11:53 pm

    Two passages of scripture come to mind:
    Luke 18:16-17 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

    Matthew 18:10 “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."

    From the moment a child is conceived and even before God has known the entire history of that individual. Jeremiah 1:4-5 "The word of the LORD came to me, saying,“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;"" How dare we ever cut such a life short.

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  • Avatar
    Jonathan Barnes
    June 25, 2022, 12:09 am

    Great piece! And when you intentionally don’t have a little Libby you never have tender conversations with her which is an incalculable loss.

    REPLY
  • Avatar
    Tionico
    June 25, 2022, 6:46 am

    Today’s youth are VERY much aware of the sixty millions plus of their would have been peers were killed whilst yet within their mother’s wombs. I am comletely convinced that this is an YUUUUGE part of how casual and callous murders are so common. If our parents did not value the lives of ourwould-have-been peers enough to even let them live, why shouldWE value life any more? And what is the REAL difference between a medical practitioner using a knife or a suction tool to tear apart an unborn child inside its mother, and my "friend" using a gun to tear apart another child outside of his Mother’s womb?
    There IS no difference morally, and this EATS at millions of young people. Most often not TopOfMind, yet there, lurking. Every school massacre brings this "does not compute’ to the fore for consideration once more.

    The Mother in this story SHOULD have admitted her guilt to her daughter, then gone on to explain how she was scared, alone, did not know what else to do, and she made a VERY wrong decision. Then explain how she KNOWS God has forgiven her and now sees her sin no more. Part of why I need a Saviour just like you do.
    Since she did not do that, at whatever point in the future the issue comes into the open, she will now also have to deal with the breach of trust with her daughter when che lied to her. Ask her forgiveness, and let her know how MUCH she trreasures HER, the child God has given her to love and hold and raise up to be a godly and loving woman.

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    • Avatar
      Dan Riser@Tionico
      June 27, 2022, 11:40 pm

      Spot on and without repentence she shed innocent blood eternity will not be pleasant.

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  • Avatar
    JC
    June 26, 2022, 5:14 pm

    Like the author, I never understood the Pro-Choice violence against crisis pregnancy centers. Is it like competing car dealers? One gets a sale and the other loses a sale? Does the pro-choice crowd "lose" an abortion on the tally sheet?

    REPLY
  • Avatar
    Swissarge
    June 27, 2022, 2:43 pm

    Just like an atomic bomb starts with the split of the atom, life begins with a flash of light.

    Scientists Just Captured The Flash of Light That Sparks When a Sperm Meets an Egg

    https://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-just-captured-the-actual-flash-of-light-that-sparks-when-sperm-meets-an-egg

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